Posted in Books

What’s a ‘real’ book?

In light of the  the digital advances that are currently taking our breath away, any self-respecting book lover has to have considered the question of what constitutes a real book.  It used to be easy to answer: a book is that ‘thing’ you hold in your hands that has pages bound between two covers.  Maybe we were wrong.  Maybe a book is just what the writer writes and what the reader reads.  But if that’s true, then a digitally distributed haiku qualifies as a book.  Or is there a length rule?  If a piece of digital writing is a certain length, maybe then it’s a book.

Most of my books have been made available by the publishers as e-books these days.   When I say that, I mean that the books were originally published as pages bound between two covers.  But when I’m writing a book, that book resides on my computer’s hard drive.  When I put the finishing touches on the electronic file, is it a book yet?

So many questions; so many opinions.  If you haven’t seen this new video yet, you might like to take a look at their answer to the question and then join the discussion.  (By the way, it’s done with stop-motion not animation.  The producers went into the bookstore from 6 pm to 10 am for five nights and moved books and things.  Quite a job!).